Mumsnetters aren't necessarily qualified to help if your child is unwell. If you need professional help, please see our mental health webguide

Montelukast singulair caused depression

(30 Posts)
flussymummy Tue 28-Aug-12 19:47:33

Thought I'd just post on here in case it could be useful to anyone... Our three year old daughter was on montelukast granules for a year before we realized that it was causing fairly extreme depression- she described herself as being "the saddest child out of all the saddest children in the world" and drew pictures of fairy princesses "surrounded by their dark, dark thoughts". She had terrifying nightmares and separation anxiety. When we finally made the connection and stopped the drug (which had been prescribed for asthma symptoms) she was like a different child overnight.
Apparently this is a pretty rare reaction, but well documented in the USA- I hope that by mentioning this it'll be of use to others with depressed children.

VanessaSellick Sun 22-Sep-13 12:44:44

The parents on the support group that you can access via a post on https://www.facebook.com/montelukastsideeffects created the website you placed the link to. They are amazing people. You need to be on Facebook to access the support group but it so wonderful to know that you are not alone and their ideas are helpful.

Faverolles Fri 13-Sep-13 13:54:36

Thank you for that Vanessa, I'll have a look at that later.

I posted on this near the start of the thread. At the moment, ds is being investigated for long term damage from montelukast.
Whilst his behaviour improved after stopping monte, he still has a level of aggression that has never gone away, and flares up dramatically at certain times, making life very difficult at times, we are still trying to work out his triggers.

After some googling, I found this website which suggests that any unusual behaviour whilst on monte should be considered as a potential side effect.

Our biggest problem whilst ds was on the drug was that no-one believed us, leaving us bewildered during a time that was quite literally life changing.
We still have continuous problems with ds, but luckily we are being listened to now, and are hoping the change in ds won't be permanent (20 months since he stopped)

Someone further up suggested I was scare mongering by quoting from a forum that singulair was America's dirty little secret.
My intent was not to scare monger, but to simply point out that, whilst for many children, singulair is amazing, for others it is life changing, and not in a good way. Why would you not want this information before starting your child on a potentially damaging drug?
If I'd had this information this time 2 years ago, perhaps I would have had the confidence to ignore the GP claiming it was our incompetence as parents that caused our ds to become so violent, instead of trusting our instincts. Who knows, if we'd trusted our instincts back then, maybe the effects would have worn off by now and we would have our sweet, funny, bouncy son back.

As things stand now, ds is still sometimes our gorgeous boy, but is all to quick to turn into a scary, aggressive child who swears at us, punches, kicks and bites us. Our only way of calming him down is to shut him in his room. He has aspergers type meltdowns, which we are learning to deal with.
He is a different boy to his before-singulair days, which is heartbreaking.

VanessaSellick Fri 13-Sep-13 13:24:26

Hello, I have compiled news articles, YouTube clips and official Australian and US medical alerts about Singulair (active ingredient montelukast) to help people to find out further information about the impact Singulair can have. I have two young children that have been significantly affected by their use of Singulair. We had not been advised of about the adverse side effects and no medical professionals made the link between the medication and the stuggles our children were having. Please ensure that you seek medical advice should you decide to discontiue use of Singulair and please be aware that their is apparently a period of withdrawal symptoms. I am not a doctor, just a parent that wishes that I had the knowledge earlier. I hope this helps.
Awareness of Singulair Side Effects for Australian Families and Individuals https://www.facebook.com/montelukastsideeffects

DD has no side effects, but she takes the chewable tablet and we give it to her in the morning rather than at night. I don't know whether either of these factors make a difference.

mumofapirate Sat 25-May-13 22:24:00

my ds was on this and It made his behaviour much worse and he would have violent outbursts like headbutting his 1 year old brother randomly. his gp made me feel like I was imaging it when I said I thought he was getting side effects. luckily I trusted my own judgement and stopped it.

EvieandHenrysmummy Thu 23-May-13 21:02:30

Please help! My 2year old daughter was described montelukast 4mg granules at the beginning of the month. It has greatly improved her asthma but over the last 4-5 days her behaviour has become out of control, clingy to me even though she is normally a daddy's girl, horrendous temper tantrums that she won't come out of. Walks around screaming but with her eyes closed, this is after sleeping so like a night terror but happens during the day. We stopped her taking the medication on Tuesday to see if she improves, I'm speaking to her gp tomorrow for advice, but mummy's know best so please help me!
Thismummyneedssleep; did your daughters behaviour improve after she stopped taking it?

Kats2 Wed 17-Apr-13 17:34:46

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

Hi - Im a monty mum too - My dd has to take the 4mg tablets (the granuals made her extremely volatile and she has taken them since she was 19mo -she is now 3) every time there is any chance of her getting a runny nose - which is a joy - anyway - as it would happen my local pharmacies have run out of the drug (which is a common occurrence - even at my local hospital they have problems getting it) so my dd is basically having withdrawal symptoms at them moment it would seem - Have any of you mums had this - horrible horrible effect at all - usually on the medication - my daughter can be quite easily scared and she quite often has ear aches and tooth pain

any help would be lovely x

Really interesting to read this as my dd is on/off montelukast and nobody ever mentioned that there could be side effects! I havnt noticed any in my dd but the hardest thing is getting her to eat the granules, she has a severe food aversion (that's another thread) so hiding in food is not an option.

Notquite Mon 07-Jan-13 22:03:28

Nightmares are among the reported possible effects on the info sheet, which is what made me ask our gp about DD's nightmares. He said it was a bit of a coincidence and changed her to Seretide, which seemed to work as well for her and the bad dreams stopped. Obviously an anecdote not a clinical trial though.

sorry - chronic rhinitis, not acute..

An adult perspective FYI (I know it is more used for children than adults in the UK) - I have been taking Singulair for a couple of months. Only on MN had I seen anything about nightmares / night terrors, and my GP claimed never to have seen such reactions. although she warned me twice about the (rare) auto-immune related side effects.

I am conflicted. It has been wonderful for both acute rhinitis (which was really impacting my life and was the main reason for prescribing) and my asthma, which I thought was well controlled on Seretide but is SO much better on Singulair. However, I do consistently have weird and exhausting dreams (the ones where you wake up more tired than you started, IYKWIM) and associated tiredness/insomnia.

I am off to ask the GP this week whether there is any medical reason why it has to be taken in the evening, as it seems to me that this effect might be lessened by taking it in the morning (but then I guess I would have to watch myself for symptoms of daytime depression/agression instead hmm)

Notquite Fri 04-Jan-13 22:53:48

My daughter was plagued by nightmares which stopped immediately she came off it.

thismummyneedssleep Fri 04-Jan-13 22:45:59

My DD has just started this. On it for a month and I have noticed she has big tantrums over very minor issues and is hard to reason with. She has also been having nightmares where she wakes screaming and as if she is still in the dream but awake. Hard to get her out of it so I am going to stop it. Side effects dont out weigh the benefits for me.

Startail Mon 10-Dec-12 23:56:57

I've taken it for persistent rhinitis, rather than asthma, and it was brilliant after two years of feeling constantly vaguely ill and tired and having a salty taste in my mouth I felt normal.

reindeesandchristmastrees Mon 10-Dec-12 23:14:19

We came off it in October and the change in behaviour has been immense. Now I'm not saying he is now perfect but he is not nearly as angry with himself or others. The real change which brought it home was about two or three weeks after stopping he had a giggle fit, it hadn't occurred to me before then but we hadn't heard him giggle uncontrollably like that for months. Luckily for us his asthma is loads better but I am convinced the medication made my little boy sad and stopping it has brought some sunshine back

FannyFifer Mon 10-Dec-12 22:12:47

When DS was on it a couple of years ago we had a horrific time, he was 5.
He was depressed, saying he wished he was dead, crying all the time, hitting himself, night terrors, screaming and literally climbing the walls terrified.

Stopped the asthma coughing but the side effects were so severe there was no way he could keep taking it. Took about a week for him to become himself again.

TheSecondComing Mon 10-Dec-12 22:04:49

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

mooseloose Mon 10-Dec-12 21:59:00

I found this thread by googling montelukast. My ds is 10 , has been on montelukast for a good few years. I have to say it has been amazing . It's totally transformed his asthma. He is very sporty now. Before taking montelukast he could not swim a width without needing an inhaler. But I have to say his anger is vile at the moment . Constantly shouting at me. I am in tears most days lately. Shouting about he doesn't want his hair cut, doesn't want to do this, doesn't want to go to bed. Won't let me look at his Maths so I can help him. I really am thinking about a visit to gp. Could be a coincidence??

flussymummy Mon 01-Oct-12 16:21:40

It's never a good idea to scaremonger and this certainly wasn't my intention. It's great to hear that it has been a useful drug for some people, but I totally agree that it should be better monitored- my GP was totally unaware of these side effects and consultant was pretty sceptical. Interesting to note that when our DD was originally prescribed with Montelukast there was no mention of these side effects in the leaflet inside the packet, but by the time she came off (March 2010) it listed
"behaviour and mood related changes (dream abnormalities, including nightmares, hallucinations, irritability, feeling anxious, restlessness, agitation including aggressive behaviour or hostility, tremor, depression, trouble sleeping, sleep walking, suicidal thoughts and actions(in very rare cases))"

reindeesandchristmastrees Mon 01-Oct-12 12:56:08

Oh my goodness, i have a feeling this might be what is wrong with DS who is 6. We are having
lots of anger problems and he is very self critical. He has gone from a happy child to a very sad little boy. We changed from the granuals to the pills in January. I have put a lot of this down to just being 6 and now finding that school gets harder etc, etc.
doctor's appojntment booked for Friday

NatashaBee Sun 30-Sep-12 20:33:23

DSD takes this. She wasn't great at taking the tablets at first, and we definitely saw some side effects whenever she skipped a couple - moods, disturbed sleep, and she bit her arms while sleeping. It definitely seems to be something that your body needs a constant level of. She is fine these days, and it did wonders for her asthma... But I would much prefer she didn't have to take it. If it has those kind of side effects (and she only takes a fairly low dose) it must be fairly strong.

vigglewiggle Sun 30-Sep-12 20:22:58

Just for balance -DD2 has been taking it for 18 months and is certainly not depressed. On the other hand she no longer gets admitted to hospital every time she gets a cold, so I guess it is working for us.

Interestingly though, I asked the consultant who first put her on it whether there were any adverse side effects and he said "no". I looked it up for myself when I got home and I saw the American research. All I can say is that it works for us, but doctors should certainly warn parents of the possibility of adverse side effects.

ggirl Sun 30-Sep-12 20:22:54

so sorry about your dd and glad you have discovered the cause

ds has had singulair and no symptoms thankfully...changed his life actually as he was constantly ill with asthma

libelulle Sun 30-Sep-12 20:18:24

I think it's certainly useful to highlight the possible side effects of montelukast, but to call it america's 'dirty little secret' is not that helpful either to those trying to balance up the risks and benefits.

To give a contrasting story, my son (who has chronic lung disease and asthma) was getting constant and severe chest infections culminating in a week in hospital with pneumonia earlier this year. Montelukast has been our saviour - we've barely needed an inhaler since starting on it. You need to be aware of side effects and balance up the risk - for us, it was a no brainer, as the risks of side effects were being balanced against him ending up in intensive care or worse.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now